|Founder||George Edward Brett|
|Successor||Simon & Schuster|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Headquarters location||New York City, New York|
Macmillan Inc. is a now mostly defunct American publishing company. Once the American division of the British Macmillan Publishers, remnants of the original American Macmillan are present in McGraw-Hill Education's Macmillan/McGraw-Hill textbooks and Gale's Macmillan Reference USA division. The German publisher Holtzbrinck, which bought Macmillan UK in 1999, purchased most US rights to the name in 2001 and rebranded its American division with it in 2007.
George Edward Brett opened the first Macmillan office in the United States in 1869 and Macmillan sold its U.S. operations to the Brett family, George Platt Brett Sr. and George Platt Brett Jr. in 1896, resulting in the creation of an American company, Macmillan Publishing. Even with the split of the American company from its parent company in Britain, George Brett Jr. and Harold Macmillan remained close personal friends.
George P. Brett Jr. made the following comments in a letter dated 23 January 1947 to Daniel Macmillan about his family's devotion to the American publishing industry:
For the record my grandfather was employed by Macmillan's of England as a salesman. He came to the United States with his family in the service of Macmillan's of England and built up a business of approximately $50,000 before he died. He was succeeded . . . by my father, who eventually incorporated The Macmillan Company of New York and built up business of about $9,000,000. I succeeded my father, and we currently doing a business of approximately $12,000,000. So then, the name of Brett and the name of Macmillan have been and are synonymous in the United States.
Under the leadership of the Brett family, MacMillan served as the publisher of American authors, Winston Churchill, Margaret Mitchell, who wrote Gone with the Wind, and Jack London, author of White Fang and Call of the Wild.
The Bretts remained in control of the American offices of Macmillan from its creation in 1869 to the early 1960s, "a span matched by few other families in the history of United States business."
In spite of strong protest of leading astronomers of the time, MacMillan published in 1950 Imanuel Velikovsky's Worlds in Collision. When MacMillan was threatened by a boycott it transferred the book to Doubleday
Macmillan merged with Crowell Collier Publishing Company in 1961. The US publisher became a media giant in its own right as Macmillan, Inc.
In 1979, Thomas Mellon Evans bought a large stake in Macmillan. Macmillan then was bid on by Mattel and ABC, only for an acquisition by ABC to break down. Macmillan then sold several non-publishing divisions.In 1980, Macmillan sold musical instrument maker C.G. Conn. In 1981, Macmillan sold Hagstrom Map, the bookstore Brentano's and the printer Alco‐Gravure.
In 1981, Macmillan acquired the children's publisher Bradbury Press. In 1982, Macmillan sold its British division, Cassell, to CBS. In 1984, Macmillan acquired the Scribner Book Companies and the textbook publishers Sieber & McIntyre, Dellen Publishing, and Pennwell Books. The following year, Macmillan acquired the publishing operations of ITT (Sams, Bobbs-Merrill, legal publisher Michie Co., trade magazine company Intertec, Marquis Who's Who, and G. K. Hall & Co.). Bobbs-Merrill was subsequently closed, with its remaining books moved to Macmillan. In 1986, Macmillan sold the music publisher G. Schirmer, Inc. to Music Sales Group. In 1987, Macmillan acquired the educational publisher Laidlaw from Doubleday. In 1988, Macmillan acquired the educational publisher Jossey-Bass.
The company was acquired by the controversial British tycoon Robert Maxwell's Maxwell Communication Corporation in 1989. Later in 1989, Macmillan acquired Prentice Hall Information from Simon & Schuster and sold Intertec and two other divisions to K-III Communications. Maxwell Macmillan Professional and Business Reference Publishing (the former Prentice Hall division) was sold to Thomson Professional Publishing. Macmillan's directories (led by Marquis Who's Who and National Register Publishing) were sold to Reed Publishing. Michie was sold to Mead. Macmillan also sold the department store Gump's, the trade school Katharine Gibbs, and part of its stake in language school Berlitz.
Maxwell died in 1991, and Macmillan began selling properties and eventually filed for bankruptcy. Paramount acquired Macmillan Computer Publishing (Sams). Standard Rate & Data Service was sold to OAG, a sister Maxwell company. Collier's Encyclopedia was sold to Planeta and DeAgostini. Macmillan Inc. was eventually sold to Simon & Schuster/Paramount Communications for $552.8 million and finalized in February 1994. (At the time, Viacom had just purchased S&S via the acquisition of its former parent company Paramount Communications; it is now owned by CBS Corporation.) The Macmillan and Atheneum adult trade publications were merged into Scribner. Macmillan Publishing USA became the name of Simon & Schuster's reference division. Pearson acquired the Macmillan name in America in 1998 (and merged Macmillan Computer Publishing with Addison Wesley Longman to form Pearson Tech Group division of Pearson Education), following its purchase of the Simon & Schuster educational and professional group (which included various Macmillan properties). Pearson sold the children's reference imprints of Macmillan Library Reference in preparation for a sale. Pearson sold the Macmillan Reference USA division (which included Scribner Reference and G. K. Hall) to Thomson Gale in 1999.
Holtzbrinck purchased most of the rights to the Macmillan name from Pearson in 2001, but not any of the businesses then associated with it. Holtzbrinck rebranded its US division with the name in 2007.
The online user-maintained database Jacketflap reports these constituent American publishers of Holtzbrinck's Macmillan division (August 2010):